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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

The Flowing Presence of the Holy Trinity

In a poem, John of the Cross describes the life of the Trinity as a river. He describes how this Personal Presence given to us in the Eucharist flows through the heavens and the earth. He even claims that this brimming River of Life surges through hell. Is God actually present where He is definitively and eternally rejected? If He can be present there, triumphant and just in the face of malice, how much more He reveals when the rejection is only indefinite and still confined by time.

As St John was tormented by his persecutors, he understood hell fire, and yet, he also knew that those fires could not constrain the Divine Presence. Not only through the very heart of evil, but through the evil that we cling to in our own hearts, this Living Water floods forth. How can evil withstand this surge? How long will we resist Mercy's force? Those who are moved to confess their sins and to do penance have felt this Almighty River. Ready to burst dams of bitterness and set limits on the power of sin and death for the price of a prayer, the currents of Divine Mercy cannot be contained or predicted. As this overflowing Flood surges through the sinful levies that we raise, tender tears begin to flow and snobs comforted by forgiveness realize a new beginning. To help us see what the Divine Persons begins and causes to progress, Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity describes not a river but an Ocean. What mysterious Water holds us afloat on these unfathomable seas! Great tides pull us beyond what is comfortable and convenient. Deep currents can suddenly take us where no one can see. Yet, it is not to nothingness but to fullness of life the Divine Persons draw us. Christ, the Radiant Star, captivates us and at the same time helps us navigate these Waters in which we lose ourselves. As we surrender, God surrenders - and the Holy Spirit renews this saving Mystery and the Father overshadows with His creative love anew.

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